FTC Seeks Public Comments on Trustee's Proposal to Divest One Store under Whole Foods Market Inc. Divestiture Order, Docket No. 9324, FTC File No. 071 0114'
Dear Mr. Ducore, I've been a resident of California for the past 30 years, and I've shopped very frequently at Trader Joe's ever since it opened in my county. The store in San Rafael is located right across the street from a Whole Foods, and, for my money, Trader Joe's provides far less expensive choices in many categories, not to mention all the unique Trader Joe's label products that no other store can equal in quality, price and health consciousness. Although a member of store management at Whole Foods in San Rafael has told me that they don't see Trader Joe's as a competitor, bur rather a different kind of shopping experience altogether, he also acknowledged that prices for many canned items at Trader Joe's are lower, but equal in quality to what Whole Foods offers in its '365' store brand. I've also spent part of every summer near Portland, ME, and have missed and longed for a Trader Joe's. One summer, I asked a CT resident if she would buy me a summer's worth of certain Trader Joe's products and bring them to ME for me when she made her own trip 'downeast' for the summer. The box ended up to be so big that I felt I couldn't prevail upon her again, although she offered. All of us who know Trader Joe's began a letter and postcard campaign to them, urging them to consider opening a store in Portland. We've continued to do this on a regular basis. I read in today's Portland Press Herald about the documents filed with your agency that state that Trader Joe's has made an offer to buy the Wild Oats store which Whole Foods owns. I hope that the third-party trustee's recommendation that the FTC allow Trader Joe's to buy the old Wild Oats store will be acted upon favorably. I'm taking this opportunity to make my comments known, because I have just moved permanently for our retirement from CA to Portland, and after only two weeks here, I already am finding it difficult to buy certain products I could only buy at Trader Joe's. I've told my husband we have to schedule a trip to Massachusetts soon, so we can stock up there on what we need and enjoy. He thinks I'm a little crazy, but when he realizes how much of what we were eating in CA came from Trader Joe's, he'll probably change his mind! Please consider that each comment you receive probably represents at least 5 other people who don't have the time to write but feel just as strongly that we have a Trader Joe's in Portland at this location. Sincerely, Sarah C. Mills